Satellites have observed a gamma-ray burst that is 13 billion light years away, giving us a glimpse of the 900 million year period known as the "cosmic dark ages,"--the time following the Big Bang when our Universe was formed.
This vibrant light residue is now marked as the furthermost object in all the cosmos, occurring nearly 700 million years ago with radiation that finally reached us in April.
According to officials, the ancient age of this particular gamma burst means the dying star that produced it was one of the first stars ever created. It came at a point when "the Universe was less than 5 per cent of its present age and a tenth of its present size," and offers a window into the past at the dawn of our presently known existence.
Image courtesy of NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab